External Reserves Drop to $26.2bn
The nation’s external reserves fell marginally to $26.20bn on July 28, down from $26.32 on July 22, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s website showed on Monday.
Month-on-month, the reserves fell by 0.4 per cent from the $26.34bn recorded on June 29, the report indicated.
The foreign exchange reserves stood at $26.42bn on May 28; it was down by 9.2 per cent year-on-year.
Similarly, the foreign exchange reserves oscillated between $26.3 and $26.4bn in June.
The reserves had stood at the $26.4bn between May 24 and 27, after dropping to $26.5bn from $26.6bn the same month.
Between May 31 and June 7, the external reserves stood at $26.3bn, before rising back to the $26.4bn mark on June 8, a level it maintained up until June 24. On June 27, it fell back to $26.36bn.
The CBN had last month lifted its 16-month-old currency controls and auctioned about $4bn on the spot and futures market to clear a backlog of dollar demand, to help boost interbank market trading.
The reserves had dropped by over 10 per cent from last year when they were at $29.7bn.
The global plunge in oil prices has caused the reserves to be depleting very fast. The development has forced the CBN to introduce foreign exchange controls, which were abandoned last month.
The CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee announced plans to adopt a flexible exchange rate policy after the external reserves fell to $26.56bn on May 23.
The external reserves have lost over $2bn dollar this year.
The nation recorded a balance of payments deficit of 1.4 per cent in its Gross Domestic Product at the end of 2015, owing largely to its first current account deficit (three per cent of the GDP) in over a decade.
The nation’s external reserves had reduced by $6.7bn within a period of 21 months, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said on March 23.
Npower Release Update on Failed Payment, Send Validation Link to Affected Beneficiaries
The management of Npower scheme, NASIMs has sent validation links to Npower batch C, Stream 2 beneficiaries. NASIMs noted that the link will be used to validate the details of beneficiaries with failed payments.
NASIMs had earlier stated that it noticed that some Npower beneficiaries are having issues with detail validation which has affected both their payment and status in the programme.
NASIMs further added that an SMS link will be sent to all selected beneficiaries for the purpose of profile validation.
It would be recalled that a significant number of batch C, Stream 2 Npower beneficiaries had taken to social media to complain of non-payment of their allowances after their colleagues had received theirs.
Therefore, the validation message sent by NASIMs to Batch C, Stream 2 N-Power Beneficiaries read: “This is to notify you that we encountered issues validating the details you provided on your N-Power (NASIMS) profile. This could be due to an error in data entry or in the case of your bank account, invalid/inactive account.
Kindly use the link below to validate your BVN and account details to continue maintaining your status on the N-Power Program.”
However, Investors King gathered that if you have received your payment as Npower Batch C, Stream 2 Beneficiary, you do not need to validate your account again.
The revalidation process is primarily aimed to rectify errors in payment issues for those who are yet to receive any payment.
A check on the Npower platform further shows that affected beneficiaries will need to provide their Npower Identification Number, BVN and Bank Account to validate their details. This will ensure they received their backlog payment.
If you have not received an SMS from Npower and you are one of the affected beneficiaries, you can however log on to http://validation.nasim.ng to validate your details.
Digital Banking Startup Credable Raises $2.5 Million Seed Round to Expand Offerings
Mumbai-based digital Banking Platform that is driving the future of banking by embedding financial services in businesses across emerging markets Credable, has raised a $2.5 million seed round to expand its offerings to emerging markets.
Speaking on the latest seed raised, the company’s CEO Nadeem Juma disclosed that Credable is seeking to offer banking services to the unbanked while planning to become the unit for emerging markets as it has rolled out plans to expand its offerings to large markets where the regulatory environment is conducive and businesses with profitable channels across MENAP and West Africa.
In his words,
“The problem we’re trying to solve is that a huge population of underbanked customers need banking services to improve their livelihoods. They are in different channels that they use every day, like telco-led mobile money, e-commerce platforms, and gig economy apps.
“Rather than try to create a new channel to bank these customers, we aim to enable these channels through a B2B2C offering that provides the customers with the banking services they need in the channels they’re already in.”
He further added that Africa’s most populous nations Nigeria, and Pakistan are at the top of its list of markets it seeks to expand its offerings.
Last May, Credable launched two products in East Africa, a 30-day term loan product in partnership with Vodacom M-Pesa in Tanzania and a short-term lending product for Diamond Trust Bank in Kenya.
The startup is committed to working capital and eradicating credit challenges faced by small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in the new digital world. It aims to create inclusive growth for small businesses by providing them with cash management, payment, credit, and growth tools that will enable small business owners to efficiently grow and manage their businesses.”
Credable also hopes to address one financial malpractice which is predatory microlending, which typically involves imposing unfair and deceptive loan terms on end consumers.
Investors King understands that the startup handholds its business customers through product design, development, and management and works with them to ensure the product is relevant to its end consumers.
The platform syncs in with the existing accounting software and bank accounts of a business and provides real-time data that helps them make informed decisions to manage financial operations like collection and payments and avail instant, collateral-free access to working capital financing along with other growth tools.
UBS to Acquire Troubled Swiss Rival Credit Suisse for Almost $3.25 Billion
UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, has agreed to acquire its troubled rival Credit Suisse for almost $3.25 billion in a deal brokered by Swiss regulators to avoid further turmoil in the global banking system.
The acquisition was sanctioned by the Swiss authorities following the failure of the central bank to convince customers and investors of the bank’s future and viability despite injecting $54 billion into it last week.
Despite the new agreement reached between the two largest banks in Switzerland, the shares of Credit Suisse plummeted by 1
As part of the agreement, Credit Suisse’s high-risk bonds estimated at $17.3 billion will be wiped out. Credit Suisse is among 30 financial institutions known as globally systemically important banks, and authorities were worried about the fallout if it were to fail.
While analysts and financial leaders have suggested that safeguards are stronger since the 2008 global financial crisis and that banks worldwide have plenty of available cash and support from central banks, concerns about the risks to the deal, losses for some investors, and Credit Suisse’s falling market value could renew fears about the health of banks.
The acquisition is a significant turning point for Credit Suisse, which has faced an array of troubles in recent years, including bad bets on hedge funds, repeated shake-ups of its top management, and a spying scandal involving UBS.
UBS is bigger, but Credit Suisse wields considerable influence, with $1.4 trillion assets under management. It has significant trading desks around the world, caters to the rich through its wealth management business, and is a major mergers and acquisitions advisor. Credit Suisse did weather the 2008 financial crisis without assistance, unlike UBS.
The combination of the two largest and best-known Swiss banks, each with storied histories dating to the mid-19th century, puts Switzerland’s reputation as a global financial center on the cusp of having a single national banking champion. However, the shotgun wedding orchestrated by Swiss regulators may lead to a period of uncertainty and volatility in the banking sector.
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